Saturday, 29 December 2012

"Arise Sir Martin"

Edmund gave me the happy news at breakfast that our good friend Martin Smith had been awarded a long-overdue knighthood in the New Year Honours!

He it was with whom we walked and lunched yesterday in Miserden, but not a word did he then breathe of the news of his elevation: great self-control, I call that.

In my congratulatory email I suggested he and Bradley Wiggins should ride down The Mall together on a tandem, to line up for their dubbing: my photograph of Martin was taken in the porch of Gloucester Cathedral during his epic Land's End to John O'Groats bike ride in 2008. (I accompanied him for a short distance.)

That trip raised a satisfying amount for charitable purposes, but it doesn't begin to compare with Martin's other generosity over a long period: causes orchestral, operatic, scientific, environmental, educational... all have benefited enormously from Smith largesse. Never has an honour been better deserved!

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